Spa from Tea Vibes. . .

A few months ago, I found myself stuck in on a plane in Detroit due to a wicked thunderstorm.  The delay caused myself and basically the rest of the plane to miss our connecting flights.  There was a silver lining though, while on the plane I met this incredibly interesting lady who was a podcaster and we started talking about the blogs, podcasting and all sorts of geeky subjects.  Of course the conversation turned to tea and she told me about an interesting tea company that she had recently been introduced to via her podcast.  Fast forward a few months, that same tea company reached out for SororiTea Sisters to review their teas. I was ecstatic!

The first tea I tried was literally the first tea I grabbed from the sample pack.  Spa- a blend of green tea, mint, cucumber, and citrus vibes. This tea called to me in many different ways and I will admit, I’m a sucker for a cool crisp mint cucumber tea.  Of course as soon as I parceled out my sample from the pouch and into my tea pot, I had to stick my nose right in and take a big whiff. I was instantly enamored with the gorgeous pops of citrus cucumber aromas with a minty undertone. No lie, my kettle couldn’t prep the water fast enough. Brewed with water right under boiling and allowed to brew for right around 3 minutes, I took my first sip and I’m not going to lie, my heart sank a little.

Though I could get these bright pops of citrus, cucumber, mint, green tea. . . I also tasted stevia.  Unfortunately, I am not one that enjoys stevia in my tea and usually have found that stevia over takes the tea in general and I’m sad to say that is what has happened with this blend. Being one that typically doesn’t add any kind of sweetener to her tea, I went to Tea Vibes site and noticed that this blend did in fact have stevia.  Not a bad thing and there are some blends that stevia does seem to work, but for me this wasn’t one of those blends.

But I will say, thru the stevia, I can taste these awesome flavors that scream relax vibes with authority.  So if you are one that doesn’t mind stevia in their tea, I highly highly encourage you to check out this blend.  Their site is so appealing and their packaging is different than what I have been seeing for other companies, along with the unique palm tree being built into their logo.  So even tho this one go may not have been for me, I’m excited to dig thru the rest of the samples Tea Vibes sent us to see if I can find a tea that is more to my taste buds.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:   Tea Vibes
Description

An invigorating loose-leaf green tea infused with mint, cucumber and citrus vibes. Add one of our infuser accessories to complete your Vibe.

Ingredients: organic green tea, peppermint, green tea, cucumber, lime pieces, lemon peel, lime juice, flavors, stevia, lemon myrtle, lemon juice, sea salt, citric acid, malic acid. Blended in a facility that processes nuts (coconut). Vegan. 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Happy from Wild Leaf Active Teas

Happy blend from Wild Leaf Active Teas is described as a stress-buster meant to lift your mood and brighten your day. This herbal blend features chamomile, rose petals, and lemon myrtle as the main flavor profiles though there are other ingredients like tulsi basil as well.

This tea is driven by its chamomile base, with lots of gentle lemon-honey herbal flavors, made even sweeter with a bit of stevia in the blend.  The rose petals are gentle, much to my relief, and add just a breeze of floral tones without getting too much like perfume.

I detect a some of the greener and earthier undertones from the tulsi basil, though I might have missed it if I weren’t looking for it. I wish there was a little more tulsi to help add some variety with all the sweet lemon and honey flavor.

This is a delicate blend, gentle and easygoing.

When you want the relaxation that comes from chamomile but want a blend with a little more floral flair, try Happy blend from Wild Leaf.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Wild Leaf Active Teas
Description:

Imagine all life’s favorites that make you relaxed and content. A cup of Happy feels a lot like that. A modern blend to cheer you up or chill you out, organic whole leaf Tulsi reduces stress and lift moods while Chamomile, Lemon Myrtle and Rose Petals brighten the spirit. A happy body and happy soul makes for a happy place wherever you go. Just to be clear, Happy will not magically whisk you off on vacation. That’s a different kind of Happy. But one can dream, and we’re glad you do. Sip it in deeply. Because this life is Wild.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lemon Sherbet Green from Bluebird Tea Co.

lemonsherbetTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Green tea with lemon is a classic. In true Bluebird style we have done it a bit different! Sweet + tangy like sherbet on your tounge + two types of lemon to make your mouth water with delight. Another fantastic blend to add to our traditional sweet collection.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Thank you to my SororiTea Sister Scheherazade for sending me a sample of this tea!

Personally speaking, this is one of those blends that I probably wouldn’t have chosen myself just because I’m not drawn to green blends normally and I think the pairing of citrus/lemon and green tea is a little played out, but the dry leaf smelled really strongly of sweet lemon juice or lemon candy, and I do like the simplicity of the tea so I was actually kind of excited regardless.

Because it is something I’ve kind of tried before, though, I wanted to do something a little different than usual – so I made this into a tea soda; while I wont take the time to explain my process of doing that (unless anyone would like me to) I will point out that the process uses sweetener though – and with a tea like this that’s already pre-sweetened due to the stevia in it a preparation method like this negates that aspect of the blend a little bit because when I tasted this tea I knew it would be sweet and expected that; theoretically with a more traditional tasting/preparation method I could have tasted the stevia and been more critical about it’s presence – I don’t typically like when my tea is sweetened for me; I want to have the choice to do that and pre-sweetened blends eliminate that choice.

I think the simplicity of the blend ultimately works against this tea though; the flavour was very monotone and I think the only reason that didn’t read as ‘flat’ was because of the carbonation which makes it hard to view anything as tasting ‘flat’. The green base was eclipsed and instead this had a really strong, distinct taste of lemon verbena or lemon myrtle; not exactly a ‘realistic’ lemon flavour and while strong and steady only really enjoyable if you’re big into those flavours to begin with. And you better be, because it’s all you’re going to taste.

Decent blend overall; the name’s pretty accurate so kudos for that. I just wish it had a little more to offer; I shouldn’t feel like I have to resort to creative methods like tea soda just to make this feel a little less mundane.

Pomegranate Burst™ Green Tea from Good Earth

pomburstTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Good Earth online or Wherever Good Earth Teas are sold.

Tea Description:

Sure we all have responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle into a routine. Break things up with the tingling intensity of Pomegranate Burst™. Blended with the goodness of green tea and the unexpected tart flavors of pomegranate and cherry, one sip will be enough to shake up an ordinary day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I brewed this Pomegranate Burst™ Green Tea from Good Earth without knowing the ingredients in the tea – only knowing it’s a flavored green tea.  So, I brewed it the way I’d brew any other bagged green tea:  using 8 ounces of hot water (170°F) and steeping for 2 minutes.

After I finished steeping the tea, I noticed the color – it’s a vivid ruby color, just like the color of a pomegranate aril.  This communicated “hibiscus” to me.  And after my first sip, yep … there’s hibiscus in this.  Ugh.  That first sip told me something else:  there’s stevia in this too. Double Ugh.  And it’s not even the natural leaf from the herb “stevia” it’s steviol glycosides which is the chemical compound of stevia.  And I can taste that chemical taste from it too.  Triple UGH!

Served hot, this just isn’t my cup of tea.  I taste to much hibiscus and stevia and a syrupy cherry flavor (read:  cherry flavored cough syrup) for me to derive much enjoyment out of drinking it.  I do taste pomegranate and hints of raspberry.  Those flavors might be nice if my palate wasn’t overwhelmed by the flavor of hibiscus, chemical tasting stevia and cough syrup.

No green tea flavor to speak of here.  Just none.

Not one to want to give up on a tea so quickly, I decided to cold-brew a few bags in my half gallon pitcher, hoping that the cold brew might soften the overpowering flavors that I experienced with the hot steep.  I used 5 tea bags for 2 quarts of water and stashed it in the fridge for about 8 hours.

As an iced tea, this is a little bit better but not much.  The cherry flavor is not quite as cough syrupy as when it’s brewed hot but it still has that cough medicine taste.  The chemical stevia notes are a little less apparent although I can still taste it.  To offset the flavor of the stevia somewhat and try to make the sweet taste more natural, I added some agave to it and this addition helped make the drink more palatable.

On the positive side:  I do like that I taste the pomegranate and the raspberry and these two fruits have a pleasant fruity flavor.  The hibiscus is also less apparent as an iced tea.  This tastes a lot more like a fruit drink than a tea though.

I think it’s fair to say that this was not a win for me.  It wasn’t horrible but I find it difficult to move past that artificial taste of the stevia.  It really ruins this drink for me.

Organic Metabolic Energy Tea from Fit Life Tea Company

EnergyFitLifeTeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea & Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Fit Life Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Ready for liftoff? Increase muscle energy and boost mental agility with an invigorating cup of Organic Metabolic Energy Tea. It’s packed with potent antioxidants and natural caffeine from sustainably grown whole green tea leaves blended with traditional rainforest energy tonic.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ll be honest and say that I really wasn’t looking forward to trying this Organic Metabolic Energy Tea from Fit Life Tea Company after I read the ingredient list:

Ingredients:  Organic Green Tea, Organic Yerba Mate, Organic Eleuthero Root Ginseng, Natural Flavoring and Organic Stevia Leaf.

First of all:  Mate and ginseng in one blend?  That sounds TOO earthy to me.  Then there’s the stevia.  I really don’t like it when a tea company feels the need to sweeten a tea for me.  I like to decide whether or not the tea should be sweetened and if it does, I like to decide how much and what type of sweetener will sweeten it.

But, I decided to give it a try anyway.

Wow!  This is actually really tasty.  It’s sweet but not too sweet and even though I was worried about the earthiness, it’s not so earthy at all.  It has a very refreshing taste to it.  It’s citrus-y and very drinkable.  It reminds me a little bit of a very watered down Tang.  Yes, the drink the astronauts took to the moon.  It doesn’t have the same gritty texture of tang, though.  (Fortunately!)

It’s pleasantly sweet with a really enjoyable, fruity flavor.  That said, I don’t taste much green tea in this.  I also don’t taste much Yerba Mate.  Since I love tea, the fact that I found these flavors lacking in this is a little disturbing to me.  But not disturbing is that I don’t taste the ginseng either.

To brew this, I hot-brewed the sachet in 8 ounces of 185°F water for 3 minutes.  Then I let the tea cool completely before I poured it into my BPA-free drinking bottle from Fit Life Tea and refrigerated it overnight.  Before I let it cool, I did take a sip of it to find out if I’d like it better hot or iced.

Just like the Teatox tea from Fit Life, I prefer this tea cold.  It has a refreshing taste and the texture is light and smooth.  And I even feel like it’s elevated my energy level too!

I don’t know that I’d actually drink this as an actual “tea” because it simply doesn’t taste like tea.  But I would drink it as an energy drink which is what seems to be it’s purpose.  And since it’s an energy drink that doesn’t rely upon troublesome amounts of sugar to enhance the drinker’s energy, I’d say Energy from Fit Life deserves a thumbs up!